How Coffee Saved the French Revolution
On July 12, 1789 Camille Demoulins debated with other patrons of the Cafe' Foy what the most appropriate color for the potential revolution would be. Green for renewal? Red for Blood? After this debate he jumped on the table and the cafe's customers got up and actually overthrew the French Aristocracy.
However, a little known fact occurred 10 days earlier leading to the rebels acquiring enough arms to win the revolution. This too was based on coffee.
On July 10, 1789, the Marquis de Sade, who was imprisoned in the Bastille, had an argument with his jailer. It would seem after 12 years of imprisonment the Marquis was suffering from severe gastritis and was quite bloated and puffy. He had been asking for coffee, due to its remarkable ability to clear up such blockages. He was denied his coffee and to make matters worse they took away his rump cushion.
The Marquis de Sade grew insolent and grabbed his toilet funnel, using it as a megaphone. He cried out to the people on the street "The government is cutting the throat's of political prisoner's inside the jail!"
Historians have always pondered why the rebels stormed the Bastille, as it only held a small handful of political prisoners most of them aristocrats like the Marquis. After the Marquis' outburst, rumors began to fly. The King had imprisoned rebels and was slitting their throats.
10 days later the rebels stormed the Bastille. Of course, they found only a few prisoners like the Marquis, but more importantly they found a huge cache of arms. Without these arms, most historians agree, the French Revolution would not have been successful.
So it goes, had the Marquis' jailers given him the coffee he needed to clear his gastric blockage he may not have broadcast his lie to the people on the streets outside. Had the rebels not stormed the Bastille, they may have never found the arms they needed to be successful. So once again, coffee takes its place in history!
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